Wednesday, June 9, 2010

28 Days Later?

There is no reason that obtaining basic living supplies should take 28 Days.

Unless, of course you live in a Zombie World.

Obviously, we do live in this Diabetic Zombie World.

This has been written about before. Some of us have Lows, causing us to behave like rambling incoherent zombies out in search of glucose brains. Sometimes, we have Highs that make us feel like we're stumbling through molasses, or moving as swiftly as a zombie does.

Yet, there are other Zombies in this D-Zombie World of ours - the stupid, rambling, unproductive zombie-like fools who have one basic mission in life: to make your brain hurt and give you the desire to just give them a quick shotgun-blast to the head to stop the craziness.

Insurance companies. Medical supply companies. Mail order suppliers. Local pharmacists. Billing reps.

They invest our lives, and force us to go all zombie-killer Woody Harrelson on them.

That's how I've been in recent days. Enacting my D-Zombie-killing to the best of my ability when it comes to the whirlwind of hassle from a new medical supply company.

Now, at this point it's not yet been 28 Days. It's been 18, though I have no confidence that in the next 10 days those One Touch Ultra Blood Strips will be in hand. Even though Anthem has assured me it's going to happen... We'll see.

This all began May 22, when I placed my refill order ahead of the end of that month specifically because my Anthem insurance was changing at that time. This was a phone refill made by phone, on an order that had eight refills and was based on a prescription first filled in February. My mail order supply company was NextRx, the only one I'd been able to use with my insurer. The order was processed and the company processed my Flex Account card at that time. At some point in the next few days, though, NextRx reversed that order and credited that payment and transferred the order to ExpressScripts because Anthem had changed its supplier - all of this went without any notice to me. Following up on my not-received order just before the Memorial Day Holiday, I learned bits and pieces of what had happened after spending two hours on the phone with various "zombies."

Of course, every single one had to hear the entire story again and couldn't seem to tell me anything about how to resolve this problem. ExpressScripts told me to call Anthem, while the insurance giant told me to call the supply company. This all pushed the calendar past May 31, which then meant my insurance coverage and Anthem account with ExpressScripts was no longer "active." This confused the ExpressScripts idiots even more, and they told me that they couldn't do anything because my account was "inactive" and they didn't know why, or have the power to do anything about it. Call Anthem yourself, they said.

In phoning Anthem on June 1, a nice representative took about 45 minutes on the phone with ExpressScripts and finally "activated" my account. He apparently wasn't a zombie, just worked for the D-Zombie Company.

However, none of that humanity or brain power transferred over and the four zombies at both places and a supervisor of a supervisor in the following days were clueless. All proceeded to tell me they were clueless, and the best solution for me was to just call my new insurance company to order supplies. This enraged me, and despite my usual calmness in defeating these D-Zombies, I unleashed my own fury on one and found myself screaming into the phone at one point. The zombie continued being stupid, though, before I just hung up.

This story is all too familiar for some, I'm sure. You know the drill: Repeat same information over and over... One person can't pull up account information in same way. Different departments and offices.

Ask for a supervisor. Hold for seven minutes. Original represenative returns to phone to explain the situation, again. Cut her off.

Me: Excuse me, I asked for your supervisor.
Zombie: That was who I was speaking with about this....
Me: No, (patient care advocate lady), I didn't ask for you to speak with a supervisor. I requested that you connect me with a supervisor to spaek with.
Zombie: My supervisor says this isn't a supervisor-maintainance required call...
Me: I don't care. I asked to speak with your supervisor, and I'm done speaking with you about this.
Zombie: But...
Me: Are you in the practice of not doing your job and providing adequate customer service?
Zombie: Um...
Me: Please put your Supervisor on the phone. As I've repeatedly asked for you to do. Now!

On hold for another five minutes until the phone goes dead, likely a hang up from their end.

(Sigh)

So, here we are: 10 days after the fact. I fear that it may get to 28 Days Later, even though most recently a nice Anthem woman appears to have overcome the D-Zombie World and my strips may be on the way. (Will believe it when they're in my hands...) Of course, now I'm low on strips. Despite everything done as it was "supposed to be" done, by the current standards written by those D-Zombie Overlords. Whatever.

You should know: This post is written with your own D-Life and Survival in mind. You may have experienced this zombie behavior before. But be warned that it's a growing epidemic. We've tried to address it and take these idiots down, but even with new health care reform, we're unlikely going to be able to do away with all of the zombies. So, be safe and on guard.

Make sure your prescription coverage is updated, that you have current scripts and that you have whatever time may be necessary to combat these forces in the event of a mishap. Remember, a shot to the head works best but sometimes they'll still come after your brains because they have none. In the end, it may take a phone hang up to actually do the job...

6 comments:

Saffy said...

From what I can gather from the DOC, to live in your neck of the woods means so much more education for a diabetic. In my little country your doc writes a prescription and the local pharmacy fills it 15 minutes after you drop it in. All for US$1. Essentially the govt picks up the tab and has the 'paperwork conversation' behind the scenes with your doctor and pharmacist. My heart goes out to you all having to manage the 'Zombie' aspect of your care too. I'd be freaking if I thought I was going to run out of test strips :O

The Poor Diabetic said...

Well put while it is unimaginable some of the things we hear about Insurance companies and the bureaucracy behind the scenes. Their motivation however is not to help their clients and they are less concerned by the bad PR they receive and are less motivated to do anything about it.
A Classic definition of a zombie: ALL and ALL in the name of the mighty dollar.

shannon said...

OMG - I just had an almost identical phone call with Aetna. I asked to speak with the supervisor, the zombie responded, "No, I'm not going to do that." Seriously?

I finally got that supervisor after 10 minutes of me saying that I didn't want to speak with the zombie anymore. I hope the supervisor reviews the audio of the call, as I asked her to.

There is no customer service!

Bradley said...

Michael, sorry to hear about your test strip zombie issues :-/ I hope you see some soon as well (test strips, that is...not zombies ;-)

Virtue said...

Sorry you've had all that trouble. Sucks! I wish I had some advice, but like Saffy I just go to a pharmacy with a script (or without, if I don't want to get covered!) and pick up my test strips.

Hope the zombies subside and things sort out soon <3

badpancreas said...

The sad thing about these stories is that they're almost all identical.

Do you know what our insurance company lady told me the other day when I was having trouble getting coverage for an IN-NETWORK provider?

Change providers. Jerks.